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Author Topic: rude 'n' ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by  (Read 19724 times)

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Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude ramblings ... reader responses relished but never required
« Reply #250 on: November 09, 2012, 10:43:43 PM »
Mea Culpa Department.  I just sat down and wrote this effing novel that I wasn't planning to write.  It's long and boring; you needn't read it.  Oh, but very soon, I'll reply to some comments from the various nice folks who have commented here lately -- I know, it's so late that nobody probably remembers or cares what they said, but hey, I'm slow.  I try to keep up with E stuff, but you know, I don't push too hard or anything.  Gotta keep it fun, footloose and fancy-free ... (Isn't that an expression?  What the hell does it mean?  Oh but Oniya, if you read this, you don't gotta answer that.  :)  Unless you happen to know and just feel like sharing more of your wisdom at the moment.)



Ultramegapretentious philosophical bullshit Department.  Bring your hardhat; watch out for falling excrement.  You've been warned.  :)

If you are reading these words on your screen, you are doing so for a reason.  I might know what it is.  Let's see.

My theory is that you and I are both doing what we're doing right now for more or less the same reason.  You're reading; I'm sitting here typing on my laptop, composing this thing that you'll read or skim or glance at later.  I can tell you did because otherwise you would never have read these words.  Ha!  Got you there, didn't I?  ;)

I think we're all here on planet Earth for more or less the same reason.  Each one of us has to work out why we're here in the time that we have, the quick minute we call a lifetime.  We each get exactly that long -- not a second more or less -- to work out the same basic problem.

Most of us don't work it out.  We die without getting it done, without doing the thing we were meant to do.

Hm.  I should probably leave it there.  That sounds vague enough that different people could read it different ways, and it's noncommittal enough that maybe someone will read something deep and meaningful and valuable into it.  Probably not, but you never know.

Nah, but that's not what this is about, any of this.  This is the sound of me talking to myself.  It seems I have something important to tell myself; something important for me, at least.  If anyone else reads it or doesn't needs to be a secondary consideration.  I keep making it the first consideration when it needs to be the second or third.  I'm learning though.

Alright, big mouth, whatcha got to say?  Let's hear it.

I don't want to be coy about anything.  If you're reading this blog and if you hear me talking about philosophy, like I guess I'm doing today, then you might as well know up front where I stand on a thing or two.  I'm a fanatical Christian.  Sometimes I used the term "devout" instead of "fanatical," but the point is that I'm an extremist about Christianity -- or at least, I try to be all-out because I don't think there's any other way to be about it.  I believe that Jesus was the Son of God who came to die for the sins of humanity so that those who believe in him can be totally transformed and live free and happy forever.  I also believe that there are no ways to know God other than to have faith in Jesus, and everyone who believes otherwise is mistaken, and tragically, lamentably so.  I don't consider myself any better than anybody, but I was told the simple truth about Jesus a long time ago and decided to believe it, just as anyone else could.  That and that alone is the only truly special or good thing that I have that some others don't, and it was simply given to me, in spite of the fact that I didn't deserve it.

I try to avoid stereotypical "church-speak" as much as possible, but there isn't any other way that I know to talk about my basic beliefs, which are the same ones Christians have believed all through history.  It's hard to talk about without sounding like an asshole, because so many asshole Christians have done such a fine job of being assholes all through history.  I'm no less an asshole and probably far more of one than most Christians you'll meet.

Lately I've been thinking about how the whole point of any person's life is for them to get to know God, because every one of us starts out completely separated from him, and he wants us to be close to him.  We have our whole lifetimes to get it straight, and he's watching and helping every step of the way, because it matters that much to him and he is able to do that for every person alive, however incomprehensible that is to any human.

My life is kind of a train wreck -- a disaster area.  All the stuff that everybody wants to do with their lives, I tried to do over and over again and kept failing and failing and failing.  Disaster.  Mine field.  Plane crash.  I'm still trying every day to pick up the pieces and assemble something like a normal, healthy, productive life for myself.  I've got a long way to go with that, so long that I don't even know if I'll live long enough to get there -- my progress is slower than hell.  I'm not a person anyone would envy or look up to in many ways.

But I'm learning to see things that you wouldn't fucking believe, things I barely believe myself; I'm changing in ways I never could have imagined.  It's amazing and wonderful and piss-in-your-pants utterly terrifying, all at once.  If I didn't know that I already have a mental illness, I'd think I was going crazy.  :)  Yes I've got long-term serious depression, which goes a long way towards explaining that train wreck I referred to earlier.  I take drugs.  Sometimes I see doctors, therapists, all that shit.  I hate a lot of that treatment stuff but I can't avoid it because I have a real illness that requires outside medical intervention sometimes.

Okay, so don't feel sorry for me or anything, because I'm not just some depressed loser, I'm also an asshole Christian fanatic, remember?  :)  So if you're going to think ill of me, you should probably disdain me for my extreme beliefs rather than pity me for my mental problems.  Lots and lots and lots of people have depression.  Hell, there's probably more people with depression than there are Christians in the world.  It ain't no thang.  Actually, I guess sometimes it is a thang, and a nasty thang indeed, but you know, I'm good right now -- never better, in my opinion, although people with mental illnesses can sometimes lose their ability to tell how they're doing, so you probably shouldn't take my word for it, although it's all you've got in this context, I suppose.  :)

I live my life on a precarious emotional precipice (... and for the time being -- believe it or not? -- I'm kind of thankful for that).  I'm not what anyone would consider normal in many ways; my life is not normal; I don't do many normal things these days, although I have in the past and may do so again in the future.  Or maybe not, who knows.  Being normal is not something I aspire to, except on rare occasions or when I'm feeling low, as we depressed folk often do.

(Why would anyone feel thankful for being on an emotional precipice?  Well, I see it like this.  I think you gotta be desperate or whacked-out to believe Christianity, because doing so requires that you put total blind faith in something you cannot see or perceive with any physical senses, and it requires that you turn your back on all the shit that any sensible person works towards or cares about.  That's the only Christianity I believe there is; very extreme.  I think people can only come to it after life has basically broken them, broken their spirit in a sense, convinced them that they cannot any longer depend upon themselves or on anything or anyone else in this world, so finally they are reduced to reaching out and grabbing hold of Jesus.  I don't think there's any other way to get there.  It's a bit crazy.  It will cause people to look down on you and think awful things about you, what a moron you are for believing such primitive nonsense.  Anyway, the thing is, I know and believe that it's a good thing -- it's the very best thing that can happen to anyone -- when a person gets knocked around enough by life to stop depending on other things and try believing in Jesus; because he is real, and knowing God through him is the whole reason any of us were put here to begin with.  So, it's a good thing, this precipice-balancing, spirit-breaking business.  If you're a nut like me.  :)  )

I get lost a lot still ... Wonder if I'm making huge mistakes and being too stubborn or too sick in the head to realize it.  The world is a confusing and dark place.  (It's also filled with unspeakable wonders and beauty -- but it's both.  It's not just flowers and ponies, nor is it all misery and horror.  Some people overlook the former, some refuse to look at the latter; keep your eyes wide open, I say.)  I struggle constantly to think more clearly, to question myself, to push myself, to doubt myself and correct things.  But it's another of those giant contradictions of mine, that I'm happier than I've ever been these days, and I don't think I've ever been better off or done better than I have in recent months and years.  Someday I hope I'll have more evidence of that, the kind of evidence that people can see or lay their hands on -- evidence of big accomplishments and successes in life, goals conquered.  For now I've just got high hopes, lots of wild ideas, and like Lou Reed said, "a busload of faith to get by."  Try to have, at least.

Crapola.  I'm embarrassed to post this.  I kinda don't want anyone to read any of this, except I do, or else I wouldn't have posted it.  ???  I've been beating myself up over this stupid blog ever since I started the damn thing.  It's turned into about 30% observations about music and politics and life and stuff that maybe a few people would find mildly diverting as reading material, and about 70% me ranting about my fucked-up life and my extreme, nutty-sounding (-- all-important, sincere --) Christian beliefs -- stuff that I don't imagine anyone would want to read, even if they agreed with some of my beliefs (not that I expect any readers to agree with my beliefs).  Why am I doing this?  Is it just writing practice?  It's not well-written.  Am I exorcising personal demons or playing out some repressed impulse for exhibitionism?  Why do that now, and especially here, of all places?  Elliquiy's Blog section?  What the hell am I thinking?  I dunno, I still don't know what I'm doing.  :)  Okay, better post this before I delete it instead, 'cuz that's probably a much more sensible thing to do with this kinda shit!  Aaargh!  hehehehe

Alright wait.  Nobody else could possibly be reading anymore anyway so I might as well add something.  ;)  Here's one thing I think I've figured out about this silly blog thing.  I assume anyone who might read any of my rantings would probably be either a non-Christian or a Christian who does not agree with most of what I say about Christianity.  I don't expect either of those types of people to suddenly agree with any of my views, but what I would like is to be as honest and forthright about myself as possible, rather than prettying up my life or my beliefs in an effort to manipulate people into agreeing with me.  That kinda shit almost never works and even when it does, it's wrong to do.  If I'm going to talk about Christianity in public at all -- it's something I've avoided doing for about 15 years or so -- then I'm not going to hide any ugly shit about myself or my problems or my views.  See what's there and draw your own conclusions; it's okay with me if someone thinks I'm crazy or deluded, as long as they don't think I'm out to pull the wool over their eyes and sell them a crock of bull.  That seems to be a favorite pastime for many Christians.  I don't want to be like that.  So there's that!  I don't know if I'm succeeding in my quixotic goal or not, or if anyone is even paying attention, but so it goes ...




Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude ramblings ... reader responses relished but never required
« Reply #251 on: November 10, 2012, 11:47:35 AM »
Rollicking Reader Response Rodeo Round-up Razzle-dazzle Riot ... Department.

Not only do I not expect to ever have readers in this blog, but I also constantly expect any readers I do have once in a while to stop reading as soon as they read too much of this blog and see what I'm like.  *pouts* 

*giant grin, puts both thumbs up*  But, hope springs eternal; perhaps one or two of you are too stubborn or too deranged to be driven away like the other sensible folks.  If so, today I'm going to catch up on responses to posts that some of you have made here.  I see I'm only about two weeks behind on responses, which means of course that you probably don't even recall what we were talking about that I'm just now getting around to responding to, but oh well; act like you know.  ;)  "Fake it 'till you make it ...."



@ Ryuka Tana

RT and I butted heads once in a different thread and then exchanged some friendly, mutually admiring PMs.  There's something special about being able to butt heads with someone and then be friendly with them afterwards; it feels like a rare privilege.  So I'm fond of RT.  :)  I don't know if he remembers butting heads with me or not; I barely remember it myself, because it was a very mild butting. 

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"I agree with the idea that good smut can be hard to write (haha, that's what... no, okay, anyway...) I'd be happy to share one or two of my favorite scenes with you and see what you think. Sometimes you can see writing, say 'that's great writing' then go, 'I dunno why the hell it's good!' So maybe if you like my writing, I can help you determine what I did that you enjoyed. Solicit them in a PM if you want."

Actually, if you have any interest in doing some public discussion about smut-writing techniques, I'd be much more interested in having such a discussion here in the blog (or even in a different public thread), on the off-chance that readers might also enjoy the conversation and maybe even participate. 

I like talking about writing technique and have strong opinions about it, as I do on many other topics.  Smut writing I know very little about, so it might be fun to look at something dirty that succeeds in being both titillating and entertaining to read, and then figuring out how it works, or trying to, at least.

Of course, if you agreed to attempt such a discussion with me, you'd have to be patient about my slow responses, but you've probably figured that out by now.  ;)

Quote
stereotype erotica, with the guy on the cover with his nipples showing ('Friends' joke), that's always apparently about pirates (seriously, how many times have you seen that cliche, at least in jokes)... Sorry, that sentence deviated

LOL

Quote
Anyway, the stereotype seems to think puns and awkward wordplay are the way to go. So now 'Captain Shaft' 'hoists the main flag' or 'shows his mighty mast', and 'thrusts the bow of his great ship into the sea of her womanliness', or something. I dunno, but it's usually pretty ridiculous."

I know the sort of writing you're referring to -- it always makes me think of Penthouse Forum, which was both a magazine and a section of a magazine filled with just the sort of hilarious smut you're talking about; when I was a kid and porn wasn't exploding out of everyone's computers, that mag was the most widely-available source of written smut that I knew of, and its writers were always going the hilarious route, with the puns and awkward wordplay.  The silliest part is that because there were no alternatives, the hilarious written smut in those magazines could be extremely exciting, especially to a megahorny teenager like me, back then.  Nowadays there are places where non-hilarious and more erudite smut can be found, although sometimes that stuff veers into the corny stereotypes by accident, with hilarious results. 

My smut writing is filled with stereotypes but not very hilarious; perhaps that's too bad, I dunno.  :)

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"However, I find the flipside just as... unnappealing. The one with no metaphors or word play, just straight up dicks and plowing and talking about how massive and hard everything is... Some people want that, and that's fine, but at that point, it feels like, why bother... I got porn, I've seen massive, hard everything and girls screaming. It's better with images."

Yes, this is actually what I think is much more common than the comical stuff described above, and I agree that it's just not very interesting or exciting to read; in fact, I would go so far as to say that even the people who write such stuff in RPs get incredibly bored with it very quickly, because it's too repetitive to be engaging for long -- simple descriptions of people doing the same handful of things in scene after scene, without interesting variations or details.  I'm so cynical that I'm convinced that most so-called "adult RPing" ends up being just this sort of dull stuff, and that's why the people who do lots of adult RPing end up putting most of their time and effort into writing well -- writing stuff that's entertaining to read -- instead of simply writing about smut. 

Most people who try to write well (entertainingly) fail, in my opinion, because it's hard to do; writing smut well (entertainingly) is even harder to do (yuck yuck yuck -- "harder," heh), which is why I think that the best smut writers here at Elliquiy, for example, are among the best writers of any kind that I've read.  There are very very few.  Actually to be completely honest and frank (too frank?), I've only found one person at Elliquiy whose smut writing is so good that I would read it happily if it were published somewhere.  I see stuff that good on rare occasions from other people, too, but I don't see much of it, partly because there isn't much of it out there, and partly because I spend the vast majority of my E time writing rather than reading, as I suspect most Elliquians do.

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"Great erotica, to me, comes from the characters.

Yes yes, a thousand times yes.  :)  The same can be said about great writing of any kind.  Interesting characters going through interesting conflicts = entertaining reading.  IMO.

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Give me a little sex, and a little dialogue. Got a supernatural setting? Use that magic, or superpower, or something, do something two humans can't do. While you're at it, sex shouldn't just be all jackhammer pounding. Do most of us make love that way? Get vulgar and hard, but also be sweet and tender, and go with the mood. Be vague sometimes, because I know what 'sliding inside her' means, and sex isn't about body parts, it's about sights, and sounds, and sensations. Give me those, tell me the feel of your tongue, or the feel of me on your tongue..."

"I mean, I know all these things are subjective, but I feel that there's still a standard. I dunno, those are just my thoughts, I hope they inspire a discussion, a debate, or just one or both of us to really think about the topic."

Again I couldn't agree more.  I think the very first and most obvious thing that most people fail at when they try to write smut is trying to find fresh and specific ways to describe physical sensations during sex acts.  It's not hard to decide that your character is going to get a blowjob; it's not hard even to decide that your orc midget will get a series of deepthroat blowjobs from a harem of pixies with oversized boobs.  hehehehe But it's very hard to find fresh and specific ways of describing those scenes -- either of them.  IMO.

Another interesting point; in my opinion, the people who can write the orc midget scene well can probably also make any other scene with any other type of character work well, even scenes with ordinary humans and no fantasy or sci-fi elements.  The fundamentals of writing well (entertainingly) don't change whether you're describing a real-world modern-day scene or something totally fantastic and bizarre.

These are points that are completely lost on most people who attempt to do adult RPing, I think, and I think it would be wonderful to see much more discussion about these topics in public places at Elliquiy, because we can all learn much from each other's experiences and observations, and I'm hardly an authority on these topics.

Fudge.  I intended to reply to lots of things, not just one post; but here I've used up all my time on just one post, because I found it so interesting to reply to.  I'll be back later to do more replying to many other things, probably much more concisely too.  :)

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: rude ramblings ... reader responses relished but never required
« Reply #252 on: November 10, 2012, 03:44:45 PM »
XD "I'm sorry for taking up all your posting time. It was an engaging post, and I'd be happy to talk about erotic writing more if you have things to say or ask."

"Also, you're right, I don't remember butting heads with you, but I butt heads a lot. If it was only mild, that's probably why, but I am happy to be friends with people that I disagree with. The post before this most recent one was entirely a surprise to me, because I wouldn't expect you to be Christian. I definitely disagree with some of the sentiments, and personally don't even support the idea I should be tolerant of certain types of ideals. However, you're an intelligent and interesting person, and you aren't evangelizing to me (I mean, even if that last post is evangelizing, this is your personal blog, that's your right in this space)."

"Honestly, I am quite spiritual, but not at all 'religious'. The part that surprises me is not that you believe in God, but that you believe in that one. To each their own, of course, as long as you don't tell me I should give a crap. I just thought I'd clarify what surprised me."

"Anyway, I'm happy to discuss writing and erotic writing whenever you'd like, and as I said before. I can always offer what writing I have done, though I don't know if I'd say it's amazing or anything."

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude ramblings ... reader responses relished but never required
« Reply #253 on: November 10, 2012, 04:50:07 PM »
RT -- I had a lot of fun replying to your post, so I don't mind at all that it took a little while.  ;)  In fact I plan to continue with some replies to other posts you've made here, although the rest of the replies will probably be shorter.  I'll get back to you on the erotic writing thing. 

I try as hard as I can to be friends with everyone and to get everyone around me to like me, even in this virtual space; in fact I work so hard at it that I often wear myself out because I'm trying so hard, and on top of that, no matter how hard I try, as the saying goes, "you can't please everyone" -- I can't always succeed in getting everyone to be friends with me or like me.  Why do I even try?  Oh, that's a long story.  It has to do with my childhood and my mental illness.  Too long an explanation for now.

All I wanted to say further was -- god I'm so thankful and glad whenever I can be friendly with anyone who is different from me in any way.  I don't want to be friendly with only people who are just like me.  :)

It sounds stupid to say it out loud like that, don't it?  hehehehehe sorry.  "And now for something completely different."




Gibberish.  Never mind.  Move along.  These aren't the droids you're looking for.

If I could control reality, here's what I would do.

No one would ever do anything they didn't want to do.  No one would ever have any experience they didn't want to have.  Everyone would have every experience they wanted to have.  Everyone; all the time; forever.  That's what I would do.

Think of everything that includes.  Can you?  I can't.  But I can form the thought in my head.  I cannot know what everyone would want or not want; I can know some of what some people would probably want, but I cannot know everything about everyone.

If I could control reality, here's what I would do.

Everything would "be" everything, always.

If everything was everything always, nothing else could be. 

What is the "nothing else" that could "be"?

It is a thing we cannot conceive.

Everything that I can think of would be everything else I can think of always.

My thoughts would be the only limiting factor.

Can I conceive of a thought that I cannot conceive of?  I can say the words:  I can conceive of a thought I cannot conceive of.  Here is another way of saying it:  what can be cannot be.  I can understand that what can be cannot be.  I can't understand it; I can only say the words.  By definition, I cannot understand a thing I cannot understand.  I can say:  I can understand a thing I cannot understand, but that statement is meaningless.

In the beginning was the
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 04:52:38 PM by rick957 »

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Re: rude ramblings ... reader responses relished but never required
« Reply #254 on: November 10, 2012, 05:39:13 PM »
Can I conceive of a thought that I cannot conceive of?  I can say the words:  I can conceive of a thought I cannot conceive of.  Here is another way of saying it:  what can be cannot be.  I can understand that what can be cannot be.  I can't understand it; I can only say the words.  By definition, I cannot understand a thing I cannot understand.  I can say:  I can understand a thing I cannot understand, but that statement is meaningless.

In the beginning was the

http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/u.asp  ;D

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #255 on: November 11, 2012, 08:16:50 PM »
The Lovecraft story was a pleasure to read, Oniya -- believe it or not, I think it might be the very first thing of his that I've read, although I've known of his reputation for many years, and one of my best friends reveres him -- although I don't have too much else to say about it; I read it all, but I'm not 100% sure that I grasped the story's central meaning, so I hesitate to comment further.  Perhaps others will have comments to make about the story, in which case I might join in the discussion or share my thoughts about it, but otherwise I'm not going to go into it, even though it was great fun to read.  :)





Mild confusion about some confusing stuff; a question for an Elliquiy staffperson, if any come by.

Elliquiy's Blogs have a highly attractive and well-designed front page of sorts.  It's been designed with the expectation that bloggers will start new threads for each blog entry, which I've never done, so my blog looks weird on that page, since it always displays the first post of this thread rather than anything that's been written here lately.  My blog is also problematic because it's been updated much more frequently than the other blogs.

For all those reasons, I'm sincerely glad that somehow, somebody removed my blog from the display page altogether.  My blog shows up on the second page after the front display page, and that's nice; I like being out of the way like that, but still accessible.  It's a perfect solution to the problem of where to put my blog, since it wouldn't be fair to other bloggers in a sense if my blog appeared more prominently than anyone else's, even if it is updated more often than anyone else's.

Why the heck am I even mentioning this here, then, if I'm glad about what was done?  Because it was done without a word to me, and I don't know how to take that.  Being removed entirely from the display page suggests that this blog doesn't belong here or isn't welcome here or something.  If that's the case, I'd much rather some staffperson just tell me rather than take steps to make the blog less prominently featured without saying anything to me about it.

Again, if anyone even reads this who had anything to do with the decision to remove my blog from that page, I'm very happy with the decision.  I just don't know if it means that my blog is unwelcome here or not.  Some clarification would be greatly appreciated, but if I never get any, I suppose that's not too big a deal either.  I don't know if any staffpeople bother to read this blog -- they certainly shouldn't bother to do so unless they want to for their own reasons -- but if any of you do, please help me understand what this is all about.  I don't consider it important enough to bother PMing anyone or asking in the help section.  Thanks.


EDIT Never mind, I think I figured out what happened and that it wasn't some mysterious effort to bury my blog, I guess.  I guess I overreacted in a childish and dumb way.  Sorry sorry!  I do that sometimes, even though I try not to.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 08:31:23 PM by rick957 »

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Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #256 on: November 11, 2012, 08:29:16 PM »
I imagine the blog thingy is more software driven than because of anyone purposefully moving it.  Leastways, I haven't heard of any deliberate 'moves to the second page'.

The only reason I dropped the Lovecraft story was due to you slight ramble about how you cannot understand something you cannot understand - the central point of the story is that the characters discovered something that could not be named, even though (as the narrator said of his friend) '... he was almost sure that nothing can be really “unnamable”. It didn’t sound sensible to him.'  I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #257 on: November 11, 2012, 08:49:53 PM »
I imagine the blog thingy is more software driven than because of anyone purposefully moving it.  Leastways, I haven't heard of any deliberate 'moves to the second page'.

Yes I guessed that, after looking more carefully at it.  I have edited the above post accordingly, with appropriate apologies.

I jumped to a false conclusion and then over-reacted on top of that, making it abundantly obvious that I'm prone to making just those kinds of mistakes, but that's probably not a big surprise to anyone.  Oh well.  :)

I don't think I really belong at Elliquiy, and that's part of the reason I reacted in such a dumb and oversensitive way.  I assumed that it was further proof that I don't belong around here.  It bothers me that I don't feel like I belong at Elliquiy, because I really really like Elliquiy and would like to feel like I belong here at least as much as any other Elliquiy member, but I don't expect to any more.  It still bothers me though, that I feel that way, even though I don't think anything can be done about it.  Such is life.  I still like Elliquiy a whole whole lot even if I don't think I'm welcome here, so I don't plan on leaving any time soon, and thankfully no one has attempted to toss me out for any reason yet.  (Knock wood!)

Quote
The only reason I dropped the Lovecraft story was due to you slight ramble about how you cannot understand something you cannot understand - the central point of the story is that the characters discovered something that could not be named, even though (as the narrator said of his friend) '... he was almost sure that nothing can be really “unnamable”. It didn’t sound sensible to him.'  I'm glad you enjoyed it.

It was great fun to read; I loved his prose style and use of language and all kinds of little things.  I just wasn't sure what the central point of the story was.  I understand the central point you're describing, except I wonder if there isn't more to the story than just that.  If that was the entire point of the story, then it does not conform to a traditional story structure as I understand it, which is totally fine of course and is also actually kind of interesting, but it's not often that I encounter a story by a famous author that does not conform to traditional story structure in its most basic sense.  It does happen, of course, but very rarely, and usually for specific reasons that can be identified by the audience. 

Anyway, I got a big kick out of it but also finished with a sense of mild lingering confusion.

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Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #258 on: November 11, 2012, 09:06:31 PM »
Lovecraft was very much into writing for imagery, as best as I can tell.  The 'point', if any, was to create sensation in his readers, usually one of creeping horror - which he was quite good at without resorting to the 'buckets of blood' that so many modern horror writers resort to.  Looking for something deeper in Lovecraft is probably a pastime best left to those who find deep significance in the colors of curtains in literature.

That said, I rather admire his use of language to create things that probably couldn't be accurately drawn, although many artists have tried.  I once found a document that talked about how 'bubbles of spacetime curvature' could account for the 'reports' of the characters in 'At The Mountains of Madness' (one of Lovecraft's longer works).

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #259 on: November 12, 2012, 04:23:30 PM »
More replies to old posts

I'll catch up someday ... mebbe today!  (Edit:  phooey.)

Quote
"I bookmarked you... I swear... but then it didn't stick... Anyway, I'm here now and again, I love this. The concept of good has bothered me since High School (Good equating to 'Selflessness' in this case, because otherwise it's ill-defined). I'mma get heavy here, I hope you don't mind, but it's relevant to my reasoning and also discusses my mother (thus relevant to your parental discussion). The quick deal here is that my mother was a saint, she did everything for everyone but herself. She cooked and cleaned and did the latter til she was ill. I remember her getting so ill once (not specifically from cleaning, necessarily, but it's a possibility) that she was throwing up blood (I did say heavy, sorry if this is too dark, I'll edit it out if you want)."

"Eventually, her bipolarity (which I inherited) and her constant attempt to please others, drove her to kill herself. As a kid, I was entirely emotionally reliant on her because she spent her whole life giving me everything she had. When she killed herself, I spent pretty much all of 8th, 9th, and 10th grade incapable of coping with my emotions (and the fact that my bipolarity started to kick in). I'm a stronger person for it all, but I could just as likely ended up not being a person today if not for the fact that while I was (and remain) completely ready to die, I couldn't bear the concept of the pain associated."

"Since then, I've come to believe that selflessness only serves to cause people to become reliant, and in turn, when a selfless individual slowly loses their capability to take care of themselves, those reliant on them fall apart as well. Everyone is better off realizing that serving others (but not exclusively) serves their own needs as well, and that this is healthy and intelligent behavior."

"Few people understand that, and most of the ones I've come across only came to understand it because I explained it to them. I'm glad to see someone with a similar (if not the same) ideology. Everytime I come here, I'm surprised to see someone who really does see things that most people refuse to see."

RT, your candor about personal subjects is truly humbling and admirable; it's a trait I aspire towards myself.  This blog with its excessive unattractive self-exposure has been a help in that regard.  I would like to be comfortable enough with myself that I would not hesitate to be completely transparent with everyone I know, not at times when excessive candor is unseemly or harmful, but all the rest of the time.  I've long thought that as people age, their level of frankness with others declines (if it was ever high to begin with) and the skeletons start to pile up in their closets.  I've got my share of those too, but sometimes I grab one, dust it off, and drop it in someone's lap.  :) 

I'm with the Saint William S. Burroughs on this one -- "T'ain't no sin / To take off your skin / And dance around in your bones!"

Your comment about my vision powers is terribly flattering and much appreciated; I hope it's true, but even if it is true sometimes, I know that there are also so many things that other people can see that I remain blind to.  Those are just the kinds of things I hope to learn about by dialoging with smart and thoughtful people like yourself and the others who have posted here.

Selflessness is widely seen as a virtue, and I think that's probably because people have a strong natural tendency to be selfish in unhealthy ways that harm others and might even harm oneself unknowingly.  The flipside of that can be true also, though, and not everyone realizes that; selflessness can be harmful to oneself and sometimes even to others, as you've attested here.  I think selfless behavior that is motivated out of guilt is unhealthy even when it benefits others, and I think most people would agree with that, but I also think something that not everyone would agree with:  selflessness born of a sense of obligation is not healthy or ultimately beneficial.  I suspect that most altruism and selfless behavior is motivated by a sense of duty to others, often inspired by religious or philosophical teachings, and that's a very subtle kind of self-deception, in my view. 

It's such a fine point that I'm not entirely at all confident yet that I see all sides of that issue, but I continue to learn about it.

I'm very glad, RT, that you're at a place in your life where you can speak openly and without apparent discomfort about the personal trials you've lived with; that's a rare and precious accomplishment.

Incidentally I have a member of my immediate family, an older brother, who has bipolar disorder, and I have unipolar depression myself, so I have many thoughts and great interest in the topic of mental illnesses (or behavioral problems or whatever the latest P.C. term is, I can't keep track).  Those subjects have and will continue to come up in this blog for however long it keeps going.

Speaking of which, a while back I said I was expecting to drop this blog soon, and since then I've been motivated to delay that conclusion because I've had so many unexpected and engaging visitors who have made their presences known.  It's been so nice, I'm awfully pleased and humbled.

Quote
"I like the saying that 'Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.' Maturity is not the quality of being able to act 'like an adult', by socially normal standards. Jon Stewart is a man I'd describe as mature, and I've seen him discuss politics with a Jerry Lewis impression..."

"It's an unfortunate biological issue that the only mandate of a parent is fertility."

You've got a knack for nailing subtle truths like these with a degree of precision and conciseness that I admire -- envy, even.  :)

Although I regret my repeated delays, I'm enjoying doing these slow and thoroughly non-concise replies to posts, so I suppose I'll keep doing them and hope that no one minds.  Be back for more before long!



Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #260 on: November 12, 2012, 04:58:42 PM »
"I'd rather sit and have these slow, pensive discussions with you, than the kinds of discussions I tend to have with other people. So please, take your time. I doubt I could handle so many walls of text at a time were you to reply more often." XD

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #261 on: November 12, 2012, 05:31:08 PM »
 :P

 ;)

Offline mrsjaz

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #262 on: November 16, 2012, 10:13:58 AM »
Rick, I have been skimming you blog and the title was soooo tempting I just had to have a look and raise some maybe obvious points with you.
I have been off the site for a long time and I am slowly trying to read and catch up with the things that interest me.
I liked the blog so far, and I know it’s a very serious blog at times, but I’m a quite a serious sort of person, so it’s okay as far as I am concerned and I also understood it.

If you do choose to scrap it I still hope that it helped you work through some of the very real dilemmas that people(Christians) have had to endure at the hands of such a (imo) corrupted idea.
I say corrupted because there exist evidence to suggest the fundamentals of your faith originated not out of nothing, but from the mythologies and events of much older cultures.

Still, I think you can guess by now that I am no believer in god or any religion, but I don’t like extremes much either, and the alternatives, the rational, science based ideologies seem to deny humanity any real empathy.

I once asked someone here on E, why he thought people who believed in god could enslave another people, he replied, Because there was no law against it…  I followed with; How come these same people did not enslave their own mothers, brothers and families. Or kill and rape and castrate them? He did not give a clear answer.

He could have simply said they lacked empathy!

I know the example was kind of strange but the point I was trying to make was that the feeling one has for family should be the same for strangers, if you’re a Christian. The hypocrites, and parasites have called themselves Christians or whatever for a long time, you know them and I know them, but my problem with "bad" Christians is that I cannot tell them apart, the  “good” Christians, the sheep, often sound and look like wolves to me.

I could not call myself a Christian (if I was one) because of this point. So given what you think of certain Christians it surprised me that you still have to consider yourself of that faith. That, as you pointed out in your blog must be a very hard thing to do!             

I wanted to ask you quite a few questions, and I know I have bombard you with too many of them to answer all at once., but my first is why did you choose a religion and not spirituality?

I feel the two are very different. Religion, to me, has been used to exploit our need for rules and our connection to nature. Spirituality is universal and can require no cultural god figure. Could you feel spiritual and not worship anything or anybody?

I also wanted to pick up on a point about the nature of your god.

“…because he is real, and knowing God through him is the whole reason any of us were put here to begin with.”

Who is the “us” you speak of, all humans? All English speaking westerners? Or “us” as in us believers?

Your god is universal right?

Another point similar to one already made by Omiya, when she asked why god would choose a particular group of people over any other group of people… a good point, and I understand that you could not answer, after all you are not in your god’s mind are you?

My point is similar. How could I, as a heathen from say the Congo, believe in the introduction of a white god figure into my culture? How is that truth? Is it just coincidence that your god looks like you?  Again I know you are not “god” so you are unable to answer and I understand that, but it’s because of these types of unanswered questions, and the disastrous history Christianity has had on people, societies, and cultures, that I find  hard to forgive.
How any person would/could support that institution ( given they have the choice that is) seems strange to me, even after reading all the criticisms you  have aimed at the institution and it’s people, why do you still call yourself a Christian?

Could you ever imagine (from your religious perspective) that you could be supporting the wickedness of a corrupt organisation? ( The devil’s work)  With respect, can you see why I might not think you were experiencing truth or free will? That you are as sheepish in your need to follow something as many others are?

It seems to me that Christianity and religions are like traps that you might fall into unless you are very, very careful. True you would need to know what to look for in order not to fall in, but that is knowledge … to know, not to believe or to have faith … but to know. 

I hope some of these points are clear enough for you to understand.


Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #263 on: November 20, 2012, 06:04:39 AM »
@ mrsjaz

Thanks so much for stopping in and leaving such detailed and engaging comments; I'm always extra-happy to see a newcomer to the thread or to hear from someone who usually lurks.  You may or may not have noticed that I like to respond to visitor's comments in detail and at my leisure, which means that I've read your remarks closely and am looking forward to sharing my thoughts on them, but that won't happen for a while, because there are still a couple-three old comments from other people whom I want to respond to. 

Waiting so long to do replies is partly out of laziness, of course, but mostly because I simply enjoy taking my time and don't see any reason not to.  There's always the risk that visitors will wander off and never check back to see my much-belated response to them, but that's a risk I prefer to take over the alternative of rushing my responses or approaching them as obligatory.

So please be patient but rest assured I'll have more to say later on about your post.  :)



What's on my mind today ... Listening and questioning and noticing, versus not

There are always things on my mind, and not only that, but I often think that the things on my mind are worth writing about.  (Am I often right about that?  Probably not, but you be the judge!)  Interestingly, I almost never think that the things on my mind are good to talk about with actual real-life people.  I'm one of those rare people -- there aren't many of us, IMO, which is nothing to brag about or anything, but that's just how it is -- who spends 90 percent or more of his time listening to others talk rather than talking himself.  I'm so much that way that it's quite unhealthy and counter-productive in many ways.  It allows me to learn a lot about other people but also keeps me from feeling that other people ever get to know me very well.  I have a small handful of close loved ones on the planet whom I would take a bullet for and probably vice versa, but literally none of those people know about many of the personal details I've revealed in this silly blog.  You, yes you, reader, know much more about me than my dear sweet mum.  :)  Don't you feel privileged?  hehehehe

It is very hard indeed to find a person who listens carefully to what other people say.  You should know that; many people don't realize that fact at all, probably because they themselves don't usually listen carefully to what other people say.  It's hard to do.  It takes real effort to focus one's attention on someone's words and try to understand them from the speaker's perspective and then relate that understanding to one's own personal perspective.  Hell, it takes work just to describe it, much less do it!  :)  I am routinely amazed at the huge number of successful people who do no listening whatsoever in their day-to-day lives but simply talk instead.  Of course I'm describing them in extreme terms, but I really don't think that's much of an exaggeration at all:  it is possible for many people to live well from all indications without ever listening to what other people say.  It's not even necessarily a great character flaw to be a poor listener; many of my best friends throughout my life have been wonderful lovable people who couldn't listen carefully with a gun to their head.  "Takes all kinds!" 

Most people also never ask questions, not counting the kind of questions that are really statements -- ways of expressing things -- rather than real questions, which are ways of finding out things.  It is possible to be successful and even to become well-educated without ever asking questions.  Again, it's no big character flaw either; it's just a personality quirk.  At least half of what I say in a given day is questions, although I confess that I sometimes ask them less out of a genuine desire to know the answers and more because I want to engage others in conversation without making statements about myself or my opinions.  I learned long ago that asking questions is much easier for me to do than making statements, and it gives many people the impression that I talk more than I do about myself, when in fact I'm mostly asking them questions about themselves.  Many people don't notice. 

Many people don't notice much.  :)  That can be problematic but it's not the end of the world or anything; it's more important to be nice than to be curious or attentive.  Except sometimes you have to be curious or attentive in order to be nice, but that's a rare circumstance.

I notice lots of things that escapes the notice of some people, but that tendency hasn't made me any smarter or more successful or even nicer than anyone else (I'm not especially smart or nice, and not at all successful), and it might have even proved disadvantageous in many situations throughout my life.  There's good and bad to most things, ya know?

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #264 on: November 21, 2012, 10:19:44 AM »
Today's Top Idiotic Jack-Ass Mass-Media Headline, brought to you by that stalwart bastion of tough-nosed, hard-hitting journalism, USA Today

"Israeli army, Hamas military tap power of social media"

Thank God we Americans get the news we really need from our major media outlets, instead of having motherfucking trivial garbage pushed into our faces at every turn.  Tell me, USA Today, just how many additional tweets does a mother send after her only child gets turned into bloody confetti by a rocket or drone attack? 

*spits on the carpet*

*shakes head over rushing sense of utter impotence*

One of my personal heroes and favorite musicians of all time is a genius singer-songwriter/rocker named Bruce Cockburn, another one who wears his politics on his sleeve both in real life and in his wonderful, gigantic, deep, rich catalog of musical masterpieces, which are criminally overlooked everywhere except perhaps in his native Canada.  Anyway, not long after 9/11, when the attack and its after-effects were still all over the headlines, an interviewer asked him if he thought that 9/11 would have much of an effect on his music. 

It wasn't an unreasonable question, I suppose, in the sense that he has plenty of songs addressing human rights issues and global politics.

Bruce's reply to the interviewer's question, as I recall: 

"... Who gives a FUCK?"

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #265 on: November 21, 2012, 05:20:55 PM »
Reader Responses Revisited #9 and 23

I hope to eventually catch up on replies to readers and then if I ever have any more reader comments to reply to (hope I do!  bet I won't tho! hehehehe I'm so cynical), I hope to start doing them quickly instead of waiting months and months.  Just sayin'.  Sorry to make youse guys wait so long, if you actually waited all this time, to get responses.  If you didn't wait, it's cool, I still loves ya for stopping by the first time thru.  :)

@ Kythia

Hey there Kythia, are you still around?  Who knows, but I'm going to wrap up responding to your last post and stuff today, anyway.  :)  I'm too tired to make this concise or well-written, so you'll have to just wade in and dig.  You are of course not obligated to read closely, or to read any of it, if you don't wanna!  It's cool.

First I'd like to compliment you about something:  from what I can tell -- that is, from your posts here and in the music survey thread thingie that is elsewhere on these boards -- your taste in music is highly unusual for a person who wants to write about pop music.  (You know, I say "pop" to refer to everything that people still listen to in large numbers -- rap, R&B, country, metal, alternative, dance, electronic, and especially rock and actual pop music, plus other stuff I'm forgetting.  I don't consider classical to be pop music.  Probably not world music either, except for the top sellers in the category.  Most everything else though that sells better than that.)

Anyway I've never encountered a music critic who was a huge fan of the bands you say you love best; not that there aren't critics who like those bands -- I know there are some, plenty probably -- but I haven't heard any other one claim that those were the best bands out there, like, better than all the other stuff that critics usually like.  I think that's effing great, frankly.  :)  Seriously, it shows that you have your own tastes and aren't ashamed or bashful about expressing them openly.  I don't often encounter music writers about whom I could say that confidently; many of them are just sheep or shills.  So, kudos to you, and I certainly hope you succeed in finding places to get paid writing about music.

Having said all that, I should go ahead and say something you've probably figured out already, which is that your taste in music and mine are extremely different.  That's cool, takes all kinds, that's what makes the world go 'round, it's all good.  I know very few people -- two actually, possibly just one -- who shares a lot in common with me in terms of musical tastes.  You know, though -- this is probably also no surprise to you -- my tastes are much more in line with the tastes of most professional (paid) music critics than yours are, from what I can tell.  All I mean by that is that I have either a high regard or a personal devotion to a large number of artists whom most published critics agree are significant and at the top of the pop world in terms of talent and accomplishment, which is not something most critics say about the bands you've mentioned liking.  You probably realize that if you've read much music criticism.  It doesn't necessarily mean your tastes are good or bad or right or wrong, or that anyone else's tastes are superior or inferior to yours, but there are big differences that seem apparent, and they're worth acknowledging, at least. 

Then again, maybe you like a lot of the famous and critically-acclaimed music that's out there and just didn't mention it yet in your posts here or in that music survey thingie.  I'm assuming not, though, right?  At least not as much as the stuff you mentioned?  I'm guessing that if you were a big fan of the Beatles or Dylan or the Stones or the Clash or Nirvana or Public Enemy or Jay-Z or Marvin Gaye or Metallica or the Beach Boys or Elvis or James Brown or Sinatra or Radiohead or Arcade Fire or Aretha or Billie Holiday or Cash or Hank Sr. or R.E.M. or Eminem or any of the other umpteen widely-acclaimed artists of the past century, you probably would've mentioned that by now, yes?  Most critics whom I've seen published tend to like most of those groups and others a lot more than Bon Jovi or Cinderella or Motley Crue, even if they like 80s hair-metal bands (or whatever genre label you prefer); they usually don't like them more than those bands I listed or others.

Personally, I like some 80s hair metal; my favorite artist in the genre would be Def Leppard or G'n'R (depending on whether or not you include G'n'R with the other popular bands of that period; some critics don't).  Bon Jovi and Crue and Skid Row and others have at least a song or several songs I like.  Would I put any of those bands up there with the artists in the preceding paragraph?  Not by a very long shot.  [Confession:  I included two acclaimed bands above whom I don't like; all the others, I genuinely love.]  But that's cool.  I love lots of bands and songs who aren't as acclaimed or as popular as any of the artists in the preceding paragraph.  I got nothing against popular stuff from any given time period, although there's some stuff I dislike and other stuff I like in each genre and time period of pop history.  My very favorite bands ever -- the very top for me personally -- aren't listed in the preceding paragraph.

Guess I'm rambling a lot, but you don't even need to read all this if you don't want to, of course, and I have no idea if you will or not; it's cool either way! 

The other big difference in our tastes is even more basic than just liking different artists, however; you seem to think about music in a way that I don't.  What makes sense to you in your approach to music makes very little sense to me, and that's probably true in the other direction too, from what I can tell, and that's perfectly fine, it doesn't mean there's only one good or right way to approach music or that your way or my way is superior or inferior, necessarily. 

Let me illustrate what I mean, though.  Here's a good example:

Quote
... But I think you're wrong to try to extrapolate to pop musicians being an artist with the sense of continuity that implies.  84's Bon Jovi has far more in common with the likes of Skid Row (for obvious reasons), Kiss's 82 Killers and similar than, say, Bon Jovi's 1996 These Days.

I didn't suggest or mean to suggest that any artist of any type produces work that is similar in either quality or content throughout his or her career; there are artists who did and do, but they're rare.  Most artists evolve over time and change in what they do, as you described with Bon Jovi, and some of their work is less or more successful, both artistically and commercially, as you described with Bon Jovi.  In my way of thinking -- perhaps not yours, but my thinking, which might be worse than yours, or better, or just different, I don't know -- none of that has anything to do with whether or not it makes good sense to follow a great artist closely and pay attention to everything they release.

My proposition is just that any great artist releases more than just one great thing, so it makes sense to pay attention to several things the artist releases, and if the artist is good enough -- or one of the best -- then it makes good sense to pay attention to everything he or she or they release.  This just seems logical to me.  I suppose it doesn't seem logical to you, and that's totally fine.

Similarly, this part made no sense to me, and I wonder if you just didn't express yourself clearly enough for me to understand.  Either that or I'm just being thickheaded, which I do sometimes.  :)  Here:

Quote
I see pop musicians as a series of a discrete artists that happen to share a name.  I think if you hear a song that you like you should be looking for musical contempories of that song, rather than other songs by the band that recorded it.

You seem to suggest that any given artist's releases have little or no relation to each other, as if they could just as likely be produced by totally different people (!), "a series of discrete artists."  I can't begin to get my head around that. 

According to this logic, if I heard "You Give Love a Bad Name" and liked it, then your suggestion would be not that I check out "Wanted Dead or Alive" or "Livin' on a Prayer", but that I instead look for a great song from some totally different band that is a "musical contemporary" of Bon Jovi's.  That makes no sense to me, and I doubt it would make sense to many other people.  Bon Jovi fans may also love Aerosmith or Motley Crue or Van Halen or Def Leppard or Winger or Whitesnake; if they like one, there's a good likelihood they'll like at least a few others; but would they be likely to love one and only one song from several of those artists, while not caring for all the other songs from those artists?  Wha-huh?  :)

My guess is that you think about music differently than I do and approach it differently than I do, which is totally cool and fine and okay and perhaps even normal and healthy and good to do, but surely you didn't agree with what I said in that last paragraph, did you?  Perhaps you did, but if so, we're just too different to expect to have much common ground in our approaches to music or to art in general.  Which is cool, but that's just how it is.

Oh, let me finish by concluding in relatively quick fashion my argument about the self-defeating and paradoxical nature of all music criticism. 

It seems to me that if you spend a good bit of time and money and effort exploring pop music for a few years, you can probably find a large number of artists whom you consider so great and talented that you would enjoy purchasing and paying attention to not just one but many or all of their releases (IF you think about music like I do; I guess that's a very big if!).  Not that you love every release equally, but if the artist is great enough, then each release is worthy of attention and adds somehow to their overall catalog, which you come to love as you get to know it better and better. 

Now here's the problem.  (I'm going to overstate things here just to make my point; bear in mind that I know there are exceptions and qualifications that can and should be made to these generalizations.)  The world of pop music is constantly shifting focus away from anything that's more than three or four years old, sometimes even just one or two years old.  Almost all of the music coverage goes to a small handful of bands and artists who are currently popular and have been for the most recent handful of years.  What happened to the artists who were acclaimed and/or popular five or ten years ago?  Many of them are still worthy of praise and are still making music, but suddenly all the attention is going to other groups who just happen to be young and new.  This happens every five to ten years or so; almost all the "hot" artists change, and it happens among the critics just as predictably as it happens among the general populace.  I've been following music long enough to see it get totally out of hand, where you have some critics who literally mock the music they or their colleagues were praising ten years ago, as being grossly inferior to whatever they like now.  (I've seen this happen in both Spin and Rolling Stone, which used to be the mostly widely-read sources of rock music criticism, pre-Internet.)  This is bizarre and ridiculous to me, and I think it's also illogical.

If one wants to pay close attention to everything being lauded by the music press, then you need to discard all your favorite music every five or ten years and replace it with whatever is currently being praised the most, and usually that new stuff is very different from the stuff that was praised before, because pop music has an incredibly short shelf life (with the shortest being in the world of actual pop and especially rap and R&B, where last year's hits are almost guaranteed to sound dated and passe compared to what's out at this moment). 

Not only is it illogical to follow music by following the most acclaimed stuff, but it's also quite expensive and time consuming, so much so that I think it basically turns hardcore music fans into shallow, flagrant materialists ... herd-mentality, consumerist dupes of crass mega-corporations ... mindless puppets on the big labels' strings!  hehehehe No offense to the other hardcore music fans out there -- I'm one of you, guys!  be merciful! -- but after buying all the new acclaimed shit for more than a decade, I figured out that it was a waste of both time and money, because the overall average quality level (with key but rare exceptions) kept going down

I'm quite convinced that there was more varied and higher-quality pop music in the 90s than in the 00s; the top bands were just better bands, making better, more valuable, more worthwhile, more important music, in artistic terms.  Same is true if you compare the 80s to the 90s, the 70s to the 80s, and the 60s to the 70s.  It doesn't break down cleanly by decade like that, but the overall point is that the best rock and roll happened in the second decade of rock -- 60s music was more varied and superior to the 50s, but that's the only exception to the trend; it's been going straight downhill ever since the 60s. 

Are there exceptions?  Absolutely.  The band I consider the single greatest band in the history of rock debuted in the late 70s and disbanded in the early 80s.  (I'll mail you a dollar if you can guess who!  heh)  That doesn't change the fact that on average, things were declining then and continued to decline afterwards.  There were brief reversals in the late 70s (punk), the mid-to-late-80s (rap), and the early 90s (alternative), but those were limited exceptions to the overall trend.

Really, pop music is in the worst state it's been in in my entire lifetime, right now.  It's dead, it's awful, it's laughably bad.  *pouts*

Okay, no, let me stop and back up some; I honestly don't know what the hell has happened in the world of pop music in the last 8 or 9 years, because it had already gotten so bad that I couldn't force myself to keep paying attention to the crud that was being acclaimed 8 or 9 years ago, so I just stopped paying attention.  Instead I did what I think any sensible, logical person probably does, which is, I kept enjoying the great music I already have, and I kept following the dwindling number of bands I loved who were still releasing music, and the rest I ignored.  What's the alternative that's logical?  I can't think of any.  (Please share if you have one!)

Although I will say that I have yet to find another pop music lover whose tastes are as deep and as broad as mine and who also takes such a negative and pessimistic overall view of the world of pop.  I've met people who are even more negative and dismissive than I am, but most of those people have much narrower tastes than I do; they stick to a smaller number of genres or artists, and happily so, and they poop on everything else out there as inferior.  I do that too, but usually with more artists than they have whom I consider good.  Also, I know people whose tastes are just as broad and deep as mine, or much moreso, but those people tend to keep finding new music they can enjoy, and they don't think my ultra-negative view of the steady downward spiral of pop music is accurate; they see many more positives and generally think my logic is flawed or too rigid or uninformed or all of the above. 

To each their own; I wish I could be more positive about the current scene, and maybe someday I will be, looking back; hope so!

Meanwhile, though, if you or anyone read any of that, go love whatever the hell music you love, and ignore any old cranky sourpusses like me who want to say that the stuff you love isn't as good as other stuff you haven't heard or don't happen to like.  It's only rock and roll!  ("And we like it!")  Right?  Fuck the naysayers and haters, ya'll!  Even if I'm one of them; fuck me too!  hehehehe  Music is too much fun to not keep a positive attitude and have a good time with it.

[Incidentally I have an ultra-positive outlook about the future of music that I haven't tried to mention here.  It is based upon some philosophical and artistic theories I've developed recently -- just in the past two or three years -- and that would take a while to explain.  Suffice it to say that even though I take such a dim view of music now, I'm convinced that something new and wonderful is right around the corner, and not only will it be at least as good as anything that's come before, but it might be even better.  You heard it here first, folks!  I'm convinced!  Maybe I'll tell you why sometime.  :)  ]

...

Kythia:  as you can see, I really rambled my brain out here, and I wandered all over the place and may have said so much that you couldn't stand to even read it, and that's totally cool if you didn't; if I were anyone besides me, I don't think I would have read it either!  hehehehehe Nevertheless, if you have any interest in sharing any responses pro or con to anything I've said here that you did read, please feel free to do so, because I'm very interested in hearing more from you and learning more about your views and tastes, even if they're very different from mine; I can still learn from you and benefit from the dialog, if you care to continue it, now or later.  Or not, it's cool either way, absolutely no obligations.

Thanks for reading!  Back again for more rambling soon and more visitor-comment replies too, although there aren't many left, because what sane person would read or comment here?  hehehehehe  ;)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 05:29:07 PM by rick957 »

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #266 on: November 21, 2012, 10:15:08 PM »
Old-ass music I been spinnin' lately

David Garza's second major label album that nobody bought.  I think it's called Overdub.  I didn't even buy it, I got a free promo copy, although I paid to see him in concert once, so I got a little money to him somehow; not as much as he deserves, considering how his music has affected and lifted and exploded me.  It's so damn good.  Why is this guy unknown to everybody?  Genius guitarist; genius songwriter; genius performer; nice guy to boot.  I wish I had as much genius in my whole body as he has in the tip of his pinky finger.  Alas!

Helmet, Meantime.  An all-time classic of punishing brutality; in my personal top ten heavy albums of all time; number three or four, probably.  Turn it on; turn it up; suffer; rejoice.  This is what the word "heavy" means as applied to music.  Who would have thought that you could play the same drop-D chord that many times consecutively and call it music?  Helmet, that's who.  Bow to genius and bring bandages for afterwards, fool.  hehehehehe



Taking a small but real chance on getting booted from Elliquiy.  Or maybe that's me imagining that shit that I say here means way way more to anybody else than it really does; if so, never mind then!  hehehehehe

I banned myself from Elliquiy's Politics & Religion section a while back because I felt that I was expressing a minority viewpoint without adequate protection from the moderators to ensure that my right to express my minority viewpoint openly was protected.  I mentioned my self-ban publicly and made my opinions known about the section at the time I banned myself. 

So what?  Who gave a shit then or now?  Nobody.  I know.  :)  This is my blog.  I'm telling you this here because it's my place to say whatever the fuck I want about whatever topics.

Since then I've continued to read the section because I honestly think that it features some of the most engaging and interesting discussions I've ever read anywhere about topics of enormous importance to everyone.  Elliquiy is a place where many people have put real effort and thought into creating an environment in which many people from all different backgrounds can interact safely and freely.  The Politics and Religion section is the one part of the site theoretically intended for open and frank discussions about the most sensitive and important personal differences amongst Elliquiy members, whose political or religious views are not all uniform and are not vetted in advance during the approval process, so wide differences in political and religious perspective inevitably exist among the approved members, even if some members and even staff might prefer otherwise.  Once or twice in my quiet, unimportant, unnoticed way, I've been openly and directly critical of several staffpeople who in my opinion expressed bigoted and prejudicial views in that section of the site or acquiesced and remained silent while others did so.  I admire those individuals and the work they've done to make Elliquiy happen, but in those rare cases, I felt it necessary to point out that they were saying something inappropriate in public.  Was I right?  Was I wrong?  Who knows?  If you read it, you can be the judge.  It's back there somewhere where you can look it up if you wanted to, but surely you've got better things to do, right? hehehehe ;)

I often read things in the P&R section which I'm tempted to respond to because I find the topics engaging, interesting, and above all, important to discuss; I can see that the section was designed and intended to foster discussion among Elliquiy's members about difficult and important subjects which people of good faith and good conscience can and do disagree on.  What more vital and meaningful purpose could be accomplished within any part of this website than the free and open exchange of ideas that have immediate and broad significance to the way that people conduct their day-to-day lives?  This is so much more important than motherfucking "adult roleplaying," which we all know is the primary goal and purpose for Elliquiy's existence; it's why all of us come here, or at least why any of us stay here for long; but isn't it mindblowingly wonderful and thrilling that our shared interest in forum roleplaying allows us to interact with others whose views about important subjects like politics and religon may differ widely from our own?  That's a real opportunity!  That's so much more important and meaningful than mere roleplaying itself, which is just a trivial pastime, no matter how much we enjoy it; the chance to interact and learn from people who are different from us has value far, far beyond any mere pastime; it has the potential to let us grow as individual human beings in the most profound and meaningful ways.  It's downright ridiculous and astonishing that a trivial pastime like online forum roleplaying allows people with vastly different political or religious perspectives to interact in ways that are more intimate and direct than they might be able to in any other context, but isn't that goddamn great?  I'll bet the people who built and maintain Elliquiy didn't even realize beforehand the incredible potential that the site could have as a place where a real community of people could form and interact and help and learn from one another.  It's happened nevertheless; it's amazing and great.  Kudos to everyone who has helped to make Elliquiy possible and kept it going; it's not just a place to roleplay, but a place to have far more meaningful interactions from time to time beyond mere roleplaying, and for that, we are all humbled and thankful.  Or I certainly am, at least, and I'll bet I'm not alone in that.

Anywho.  I read stuff in the P&R section that I am motivated to respond to but choose not to because I publicly proclaimed (however pretentiously) that I would no longer post in that section of the site, so I'd like to stick to that vow.  Normally I just swallow hard and move on whenever I see a thread or post that engages me so strongly that I wish I could respond to it without breaking my self-imposed, pretentious, and probably-pointless vow.

However, today I'm going to experiment with doing something slightly different, because I've run across an engaging thread that I would like to respond to, and I don't want to just swallow my opinions and forget about it.  I'm going to refer to the thread here in my blog and share with any readers of this blog the response I wish I could post publicly in the P&R section but won't do so for the reasons described above.  Who reads anything in this blog?  I have no idea.  One or two or three of you have done me the honor of commenting and letting me know that you've read parts of this blog, for which I can't begin to say how appreciative I am; I don't know why I've been driven to write everything in this blog, but I do know that imagining at least one other human being besides myself would read this shit was a necessary prerequisite and condition for me writing any of it to begin with, and man, has it ever been great for me to write all this shit down and share it (theoretically) with at least one or more other people.  I don't ask to get all these thoughts and ideas; I just get them and then usually sit on them, wishing I could tell somebody, anybody!  You who may read any part of this blog have done me a priceless service by playing audience for my rants and thereby making this self-expression possible.  Have I thanked you for that?  No?  Goddamn.  Thank you.  So much.  Your eyeballs have done me a great service, right now, at this moment, as you read along; a real and great service.  Please know that I appreciate it more than I can really say.

Ramble, ramble, babble, babble.  Here's a comment I wish I felt comfortable posting to this thread, but I don't feel comfortable doing that for the reasons explained ad nauseam above, so I'm putting the comment here rather than in the thread itself, whether or not that's okay to do.  I hope it's okay; I hope nothing I've said here has violated any expectation or rule that could get me booted from Elliquiy, because damn I really like participating in this wonderful and utterly unique site.  But anyway, here I go posting this and taking my chances.  Thanks for reading!  :)

Thank you for the video, which I watched from start to finish and loved the hell out of.  I've known of Carlin's rep for a very long time but never heard him do his thing before.  I'm not just impressed; I'm genuinely moved and thrilled.  I hope I find time to seek out more of his work in the near future.  How the hell does he express so much so fast with such panache?  It's uncanny; it's ... unbelievable.  I wish he was still alive so I could vote for him to be president or else ask him to be my personal mentor.

Here is the thread to which this theoretical response is being made.  I don't expect anyone who sees that thread to even notice or respond to this theoretical post, which I won't put in the thread itself for reasons mentioned above in far too much detail; instead I just want to put this theoretical thread reply here and let you, whoever reads this, see it.  If you, whoever reads this, wants to reply to this or any other post in this blog, I would appreciate your comments enormously and respond to them in some way, as I have to all the other comments, positive or negative, which I've received thus far from other wise and generous visitors.

There were only two responses in the thread when I composed this.  I assume further comments and discussion will take place over there, which is great, but I won't be a part of that discussion except as a silent observer.

If my weird decision to write any of this and post it here is considered inappropriate in any way by any Elliquiy staffperson, I trust you guys to let me know so that I can either delete the post or apologize or make whatever other amends are appropriate.  I so appreciate the work you guys do, really.  :)  Thanks!



I found the title of this thread amusing, because I doubt there are many abortion threads in this section of the site or any other; it's too divisive and difficult and incendiary a subject.  Any calm discussion of the topic requires the highest imaginable level of mature behavior from not just the participants but most importantly the moderators of the discussion, who would almost certainly be called upon to discourage or prohibit inappropriate comments, while protecting the free expression of not just one but a range of viewpoints.  You won't find that here, in my opinion.

Quote
I do wonder what those who disagree with George's views on this matter would say. 

As soon as the (wonderful, smart, tolerant, generous, kind, self-sacrificing, thoughtful, admirable) people who administer (run) the site decide that those people who disagree, who form a minority within E's membership, need to have their right to express themselves freely in this section of the site protected, maybe you'll hear from them.  Until then, don't kid yourself expecting any of them to stick their necks out and volunteer for a public gangrape like the one that happens whenever a social or religious conservative viewpoint gets expressed in this section.

We tolerate the tolerant and refuse to tolerate the intolerant, and we consider ourselves tolerant, because it costs us nothing to tolerate those who already agree with us.  Is there a higher standard to which we could or should hold ourselves?  Fuck if I know.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 01:20:04 AM by rick957 »

Offline Kythia

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Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #267 on: November 21, 2012, 10:45:50 PM »
Hey Rick

Literally just home from an 18 hour day with a one hour each way commute and looking forwards to roughly the same tomorrow.  Not saying that to make you feel sorry for me - though you definately should and should send me hugs and teddy bears - just a disclaimer in case this makes eff all sense.

My taste in music is my taste in music.,  its what I listen to when I get home - currently irritating the neighbours with Pretty Boy Floyd.  I have literally no chance of making a living talking about that, I'd be suprised if there was a single job in the world reviewing thirty year old albums.  In my work for the newspaper I review the current albums, obviously.  Some I like, some I don't.  The odd one I buy.  I know modern music fairly well because I make a massive effort to keep up because the job I want depends on me doing so. 

For what the tangent is worth, what I like in a song is joy.  I want to be able to sing it at the top of my voice, slide on my knees onto the dancefloor when it comes on and generally use it as accompinent to good times.  80s rock gives me that, and god I love it for that.

That's not to say I cant recognise the technical skill of performers you name.  Not to say I don't like them.  It's just not what I listen to when I'm off the clock, as it were, and its the genre I know best and tend to default to in any discussion of music.

So I dunno if that clears up any of your surprise.

Anyway.

I'm not sure if this is a lack of familiarity with Bon Jovi or a cunning meta-joke but you've kinda made my point a little.  If you heard "You Give Love a Bad Name" then I certainly would recommend you check out "Living On A Prayer" and "Wanted Dead Or Alive" - they're on the same album.  86's Slippery When Wet.  To some extent I'd also recommend 88's New Jersey but we may be getting too specific here.

To expand on that - you mention the Beatles in your list of critically acclaimed bands.  Obviously I've never seen them live - Lennon died before I was born for a start.  I did see Paul McCartney perform live earlier this year though and I'm gonna use that.  One of the songs he played was "I Saw Her Standing There" - Side 1, Track 1, Album 1.  Don't get much earlier than that.  Now lets imagine I was stood next to someone who had managed to never hear of the Beatles.  He turns to me and says "Wow, this is incredible.  Are all their songs like this?"  Could you, in good faith, say "Well, if you like that you should definately check out Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".  The Beatles are an extreme example but quite honestly I'm always confused when people say they love the Beatles.  I don't see how you can have a favourite band who recorded both "She Loves You" and "Revolution 9".  Someone likes "I Saw Her Standing There", you point them at Elvis, not at Abbey Road.  As I say, Beatles are an extreme example but I feel the point holds.

Quote
I see pop musicians as a series of a discrete artists that happen to share a name.  I think if you hear a song that you like you should be looking for musical contempories of that song, rather than other songs by the band that recorded it.

I perhaps overstated my case there, but not so much.  Album x of a band is influenced by albums 1 through x-1.  Of course it is.  But thats just one of a hump of influences (no Idea why I chose the word "hump" there, but I kinda like it so I'm leaving it.)  In the general case if you like songs from one album then you're likely to like songs from another thats not too chronologically seperate.  Barring exceptions like the Beatles, Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, things like that.  The discrete albums that make up a band's works are usually musical contempories of each other, sure.  But I think, and I stand by, that a better plan is finding the other albums from around that time and that hump of influences because they are more likely to be similar to what you like.  You mention Metallica - if I enjoyed Metallica/The Black Album then I should be looking at Anthrax and Megadeath, not Garage Inc

In essence thats just a kinda restatement isn't it.  And yeah, I think you're right, we do think about music differently.  But hey, isn't it awesome that we're both right and neither one of our views excludes the other's enjoyment?  I know that sounded, I dunno, patronising but it wasn't meant to.  I genuinely think that's awesome.  Someone's love of Justin Bieber takes literally nothing away from my love of my music and I think its kinda cool that the musical world is big enough that we can both be happy with the bands and songs we love.  Or all three of us, if I allow you into the me-and-hypothetical-Justin-Bieber-fan gang.

Did you know music has got less varied since the sixties?  Proven by SCIENCE.  I'm under the impression that I can't link to external sites here as they don't track back to E but if you're interested then PM me and I'll throw you the links.

So I think we're both approaching the issue you talk about in different ways (and see earlier comments re:how awesome it is we can do that).  You're tracking Neil Young - to go back to the start of this conversation - through time, I'm ignoring the passage of time and expanding "sideways" as it were into new bands from the period I like.

I kinda agree with your summation.  I had a bit moer to say but I'm tired and hungry and sweet mericiful Zeus do I need a shower.  So I'm gonna love you and leave.

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #268 on: November 21, 2012, 10:51:17 PM »
...This is so much more important than motherfucking "adult roleplaying," which we all know is the primary goal and purpose for Elliquiy's existence; it's why all of us come here, or at least why any of us stay here for long; but isn't it mindblowingly wonderful and thrilling that our shared interest in forum roleplaying allows us to interact with others whose views about important subjects like politics and religon may differ widely from our own?  That's a real opportunity!  That's so much more important and meaningful than mere roleplaying itself, which is just a trivial pastime, no matter how much we enjoy it...

"To this, I wholeheartedly and adamantly disagree. I don't give a shit about politics when it comes down to it. It's a waste of my and everyone's time, that's why I'm an anarchist. If people could take the time not to be morons, it wouldn't be necessary, but we'd still need something to do to keep ourselves happy. I come here to be happy, if the whole world is destroyed in a nuclear holocaust tomorrow, I won't give a damn, but I'll be glad I spent time with the people I care about here and elsewhere before I die. I won't be thinking about who fucked up and started the nuclear holocaust, why waste my last moments on that? Even if I did, it would be in the context of feeling like I didn't get to finish something I enjoyed doing."

Since then I've continued to read the section because I honestly think that it features some of the most engaging and interesting discussions I've ever read anywhere about topics of enormous importance to everyone.  Elliquiy is a place where many people have put real effort and thought into creating an environment in which many people from all different backgrounds can interact safely and freely.  The Politics and Religion section is the one part of the site theoretically intended for open and frank discussions about the most sensitive and important personal differences amongst Elliquiy members, whose political or religious views are not all uniform and are not vetted in advance during the approval process, so wide differences in political and religious perspective inevitably exist among the approved members, even if some members and even staff might prefer otherwise.  Once or twice in my quiet, unimportant, unnoticed way, I've been openly and directly critical of several staffpeople who in my opinion expressed bigoted and prejudicial views in that section of the site or acquiesced and remained silent while others did so.  I admire those individuals and the work they've done to make Elliquiy happen, but in those rare cases, I felt it necessary to point out that they were saying something inappropriate in public.  Was I right?  Was I wrong?  Who knows?  If you read it, you can be the judge.  It's back there somewhere where you can look it up if you wanted to, but surely you've got better things to do, right? hehehehe ;)



I found the title of this thread amusing, because I doubt there are many abortion threads in this section of the site or any other; it's too divisive and difficult and incendiary a subject.  Any calm discussion of the topic requires the highest imaginable level of mature behavior from not just the participants but most importantly the moderators of the discussion, who would almost certainly be called upon to discourage or prohibit inappropriate comments, while protecting the free expression of not just one but a range of viewpoints.  You won't find that here, in my opinion.

Quote
I do wonder what those who disagree with George's views on this matter would say.

As soon as the (wonderful, smart, tolerant, generous, kind, self-sacrificing, thoughtful, admirable) people who administer (run) the site decide that those people who disagree, who form a minority within E's membership, need to have their right to express themselves freely in this section of the site protected, maybe you'll hear from them.  Until then, don't kid yourself expecting any of them to stick their necks out and volunteer for a public gangrape like the one that happens whenever a social or religious conservative viewpoint gets expressed in this section.

We tolerate the tolerant and refuse to tolerate the intolerant, and we consider ourselves tolerant, because it costs us nothing to tolerate those who already agree with us.  Is there a higher standard to which we could or should hold ourselves?  Fuck if I know.

"Oh man... so much here I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot-pole... I once believed that it was everyone's purpose to learn (something I still believe, but there's more to it) and that everyone should attempt to teach other people at all times. Now, I believe something more along the lines of, I'm going to learn, and everyone else can be ignorant and die for all I care. I'll teach and help the people I care about. I still believe the first thing in an ideal world, but at this point, I am tired of looking toward an ideal."

"Most of my beliefs are like that... I hold one principle to be the ideal, the one I try to follow in a situation in which I am dealing with intelligent and reasonable. Sadly, that usually means, just with the people closest to me, because there are just way too many people not worth my time or effort. This is why I've generally given myself a similar ban, or at least, I've decided that anytime I start to say what I *really* think on a topic, I just leave the topic."

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #269 on: November 22, 2012, 02:06:37 AM »
It's so gratifying and pleasing to get such quick and detailed replies from you guys.  I should follow your example and do more prompt replies to every comment in this thread.  I intend to do better with that in the future.

Right now I'm not going to reply to the new comments (I'll try to get to that soon tho!); instead I'm just posting one more time to say two three things. 

1) I was totally wrong before.  I'd rather admit that myself than have anybody else point it out to me, so here I go:  I was fuckin' wrong wrong wrong.  If you look at this thread in Elliquiy's P&R section, you'll immediately see that just what I claimed would not happen over there has already, mere hours later, happened:  a person with a minority viewpoint has expressed himself (herself?  I didn't pay attention, sorry) already, and the world has not come to an end.  Rather, that person has been disagreed with respectfully, and the comments have continued.  I'm wrong sometimes.  I'm wrong lots of times.  I try to learn from those times.  Okay, that's all I gots to say about that.  :)

2) Wow my post right before this one was really unusually badly written, meaning that it was even more repetitive and inconcise than I usually am, and yet it seems that at least one of you -- RT, you crazy awesome nut! -- read it anyway.  I'm so humbled and just grateful.  RT -- and anyone else who reads any of this crazy shit -- you rule.  :) 

2.5) How come my posts tonight are even worsely written than ussualll?  'Cause I'm drinking tonight.  I've been avoiding the booze these last few weeks because it sometimes increases my level of despondency and depression on the day afterwards, even though I don't have any other symptoms associated with hangover; nonetheless, as a person who suffers from depression as a mental illness, it's not wise for me to indulge in frequent boozing.  Sometimes I do things that aren't wise for me to do.  Sometimes I do things that are plain old downright wrong for me to do.  Other times I just let myself relax and do whatever the fuck I feel like doing without worrying over-much whether it's right or wrong for me to do.  That's me; I'm human; I'm not perfect and frankly I wouldn't want to be, if for no other reason than it would make me unlike most other people, who also fuck up now and then, like I do, although probably not as bad as I do.  (See #1 above!)

3) I sometimes say very extreme and totally sincere things in this blog about my beliefs with regards to Christianity and its central importance to my existence and its key importance (in my view) to the existence of every other human being upon the face of the planet.  That stuff is sincere, and you should feel free to disagree with it completely, if you do, and you probably do, unless you're me.  Whether you agree with my view on Christianity or not, I want you to know this:  I fuck up a lot.  I feel lost a lot.  I have these times, very very often, when I just don't know why I can't get my motherfucking life to work.  I'm totally convinced that my basic view about Christianity is true, and I think everyone who disagrees with it is sadly mistaken, and yet, I struggle to believe the very things I claim to be true.  I fuck up so much shit.  If you know what's real and true, how is it possible that you may still fuck up so often and so utterly?  I don't have an answer for you.  But I'm here to tell you this:  Christianity is the one and only true thing that anyone has to trust in.  Jesus is it.  Did you watch the Carlin video from the abortion thread?  Did you notice what he said about Jesus?  I did.  Just throwing that out there. 

I know that nobody who reads anything I say about anything is likely to think that I'm anything other than a dumbass for believing with all my heart that Christianity is the one and only truth.  I believe that anyway.  And my life is a motherfucking mess on a daily basis.  And I've never been happier, and I wouldn't trade my life for anyone's or for anything, because I believe the one and only truth.

Was that 3 or 3.5?  I don't recall, because I'm drinking!!! heheheheheheh Now go read something better than this blog, you crazy person you!  Thanks.  :)  Be well.

P.S. Tomorrow: fatty turkey goodness.  Ohhh yeah.  Be well.

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #270 on: November 23, 2012, 08:12:14 AM »
More of me talking to myself about Christianity and then putting it here for people who probably don't care to see anyway, for reasons unknown

There are some things that almost everybody gets wrong.  Here are some examples.

Most people think that Christianity is a religion, and religion is concerned with telling people to do what's right and not do what's wrong.  Nope and nope.  Christianity tells us that no matter how hard you try, you will sometimes do what's wrong.  Everyone does and has and will continue to do so, including every leader of every church and every person involved at any level with any religion:  every one of those people did horrible wrong things and will continue to do them, no matter how hard they try. 

Do you think the Catholic leaders who sexually abused children did a horrible thing?  Well, obviously they did; it's one of the greatest public atrocities of recent times, in my opinion.  Now, do you think you or I are any better than those Catholic leaders who abused children?  I know that I am not any better than those men; not even a little tiny bit better, not a bit, not a whit.  I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are both better than I and better than them, but Christianity teaches that you and I and they are all basically the same, so the truth is that you aren't any better than them either.  (Sorry!  That's what Christianity sez, not me!)

Christianity is not a religion in my view, but I probably shouldn't talk about that right now, probably shouldn't even have mentioned it above.  Somewhere back in this blog is an explanation of that so I don't want to discuss it further right now.

Christianity is not about telling us what is right to do or what is wrong to do, at least not in the sense that almost everyone thinks.  There isn't a list.  There are no lists, none, anywhere.  Do you think the Ten Commandments are good things to do?  Very well then, try this:  try to live according to the Ten Commandments all the time.  You will fail.  Everyone else who tries will fail.  They always have and will continue to do so; everyone.  (There was one and only one man who did not fail, and that was Jesus.)

What Christianity asks of each of us is to recognize that we are unable to do what's right, no matter how hard we try.  This is the problem with trying to do what's right in any way other than what Christianity teaches:  you will fail. 

Now, there is one particular sense in which Christianity does in fact tell people to do one and exactly one and only one right thing.  It is the only right or good thing that you or I can do, and even this we can only do because God basically does it for us, but we must each choose to let him do it for us, because he has chosen not to force it upon us.  We can choose to believe that we cannot do what's right or good on our own, but we can give up trying and instead put all our trust in God.  The mechanism by which we put all our trust in God is through believing in Jesus and what he did for us. 

If we believe in Jesus fully, we can start to do what's right and good.  Even then, sometimes our beliefs -- our faith -- will falter, and in those times, we will still do wrong; it's in our blood; we keep fucking up.  That turns out to be okay -- as long as we keep realizing again and again, every motherfucking time ... It's hard to talk about; it's hard to do.  I blow it a lot.  I blew it bad a few days back and did some stuff that was really terrible to a couple people whom I love dearly.  I sure thought I was trying my best not to fuck up like that, and I sure fucked up.  I will keep fucking up; it's in my blood.  It's not even a great idea for me to push myself really hard to keep trying to do what's right or good all the time, because whether I try super-hard or not, I'll blow it sometimes, regardless.

What I can and must do is just admit that, not just to you who might read this silly blog, but to myself, and to God.  I suck; I blow it; I fuck up; I fail and fail and fucking fail.  It hurts to keep fucking up; I wish I never did.

There is good news for me, and good news for you; it is very good news indeed.  It is such good news that the very same good news that applies to me and you can somehow, if those poor pitiful men believe it fully, this good news can somehow allow even the Catholic child molesters mentioned above to be okay after all.  They did horrible things, unspeakably atrocious, shameful, wretched things.  Even the other inmates in the prisons those men ought to go to will be so disgusted with what they've done that they will abuse those men over it, or so I've heard about prisons, that child molesters suffer at the hands of the others there.  Still -- there is still good news, even for those poor awful men, if and only if they will believe the good news in their hearts. 

(In their hearts.  How many religious leaders do terrible things and then go through the pathetic public ritual of announcing to the world that they did something wrong and have now repented of their evil deed and asked God for forgiveness and received it so now everything is fucking okay?  If you're old enough, you remember the debacles in the 80s where televangelists, one after another, shamed themselves and then turned right back around and announced that it was all okay because they were sorry and God forgave them.  There are only two people who know whether or not they were lying; them, each individual among them, and God.  There is forgiveness and good news for even the most wretched among us, even those who have done the worst things, but only if we believe in our hearts, and it don't mean shit what you say to anybody else, because God knows, and each person knows, in their hearts.)

Even the televangelists and child molesters and me can be alright, if we keep recognizing that no matter what each of us does, we will always keep doing wrong -- unless we trust fully in God and give over our whole lives to him.  We are each asked to humble ourselves and trust fully and depend fully upon Jesus, and then and only then are we alright; then and only then are we clean and whole and forgiven of all our mistakes in the past.

What is Christianity about, really?  It's about giving up on yourself and your ability to do what's right.  It's about giving up on trying to take care of yourself and your own life.  Which of us believes that we can't take care of ourselves?  Are you honest enough with yourself to look the truth in the eye?  The truth is that you cannot take care of yourself, no matter how hard you try.  If you try to take care of yourself, you will fail and be doomed.  This is what Christianity is all about.  You and I must stop depending on ourselves, however bizarre that sounds, and whether or not every other motherfucking person on the planet keeps depending on themselves or not.  (Christianity is a lonely road sometimes, maybe the loneliest of all, because so much of it happens inside your heart between you and God alone, where no other person no matter how well-meaning and caring can truly go.  You go it alone or you don't go at all.).

It's wonderful news but most people get it wrong.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 08:23:45 AM by rick957 »

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #271 on: November 23, 2012, 09:05:23 AM »
Mo' of the same.  Christianity talk.  Skip ahead to the next post if you know what's good for you!  Heh.

Oh, another thing most of us get wrong.  I meant to get to this before but didn't.

Do you want to hear God's voice?

I am here to tell you that you have already heard it, many times.  You might hear it again today.  You might be hearing it right now; not my voice, but God's voice, right now, inside your head.

I hear a voice inside my head most of the time.  As far as I know, this is reasonably normal.  The voice I hear in my head is not God's voice, usually; it's my own internal voice.  Supposedly most people hear something similar, a voice in their heads that talks to them, or perhaps better put, a voice they use to talk to themselves as they go through their day.

Any time that little internal voice of yours tells you to do what's good and right, it is in a very real sense not your own internal voice speaking to you, but God's voice speaking to you.  This is fully consistent with Christianity; I'm not suggesting anything novel here.

Christianity says that God will speak directly to you and me inside our heads or inside our hearts, whichever terminology you prefer.

If you are not a Christian, you almost never hear God's voice.  If you are a Christian, you frequently hear God's voice.  This is part of what it means to become a Christian.

It goes like this.  Each of us starts out with a very serious problem that makes it impossible for us to be with God and impossible for us to hear him most of the time.  If you are a non-Christian who does many great and wonderful things and many self-sacrificing things and whom everyone recognizes as a good and admirable person, still, you can't hear God's voice almost ever.  He is not the one telling you to behave so good and nice and to sacrifice on behalf of others.  He ain't.  Sorry.  Also, all your good behavior doesn't matter to him.  It matters to me, personally, in a way, but it does not matter to God.

God's voice speaks to non-Christians and urges them to believe the truth about themselves and the truth about reality, which is contained within Christianity.  That's really the only message God has to tell non-Christians.  You can become a Christian by understanding and believing a few simple things about Jesus, and then and only then, God can and will finally be able to talk to you frequently.  He does it to all Christians; it's part of what it means to be a Christian.

People like to laugh about the concept that God talks to Christians.  People think it's preposterous and insane for any human being to claim that he or she has heard the voice of God.  It's not preposterous or insane; it's common as dirt, frankly.  You've heard his voice too.  He speaks to you.  I am certain of it.  He speaks to me too, very often. 

To hear God's voice is not a particularly unusual thing.  If even one time in your life you heard a Christian suggest to you that you should become a Christian, you heard the voice of God in your heart at that very moment, urging you to believe Christianity, urging you to believe the truth.  It's the only good thing you can do for yourself.  It's the only good thing you can do that actually matters.

If Mother Teresa or Gandhi did not believe in Jesus in their hearts, then none of their good deeds mattered to God.  This is what Christianity teaches.  I admire Mother Teresa and Gandhi; not just admire them, but I revere them, based upon what little I know about them; I admire and revere and strive to emulate all the same great people whom all of us have heard of who have done wonderful things for other people.  But I don't confuse things. 

There is a sense in which doing good and living according to strict moral guidelines can actually possibly harm you.  If you or I or anyone goes around and does lots of good and nice things for people, we might be tempted to believe that all those good, nice things matter to God or matter in some big important way in the grand scheme of things.  Nope.  And if you believe that, as some moral people probably do, then you have believed a lie, and that can be a difficult lie to see through once you have believed it.

Many many many many non-Christians are moral people.  Many do wonderful things.  I would go so far as to suggest this, because I think it's almost certainly true:  non-Christians often behave in more moral ways, they behave better, than Christians.  On average, I'll bet that's true.  I know for damn sure that I'm not a very moral person and haven't done a hell of a lot to benefit others in my lifetime so far.  I hope to change that.  I am glad that I have the example of many moral and self-sacrificing NON-Christians to look up to, in my own efforts to do good things and live a good life.  But there is a paradox here. 

Every good thing comes from God, so any time that even a non-Christian does a good thing for anyone, it only happened because God let it happen and wanted it to happen.  The credit is really God's, not any human being's.  The credit for every good deed any Christian has ever done belongs to God and only God.  The credit for every good deed any NON-Christian has ever done belongs to God and only God.  I can and do look at good things that get done by all sorts of people, including non-Christians, and I admire those things and appreciate the hard work involved and seek to emulate that behavior, but I don't misunderstand what's going on there; God uses non-Christians every fucking day to do good things, and thank God for that, because we Christians sure as hell are doing a motherfucking shitty job of taking care of one another and helping out those in need.  If there weren't so many kind and generous and self-sacrificing non-Christians out there helping the poor and caring for the needy, what sort of world would we have?  How many of the poor and needy would go without? 

Christians suck.  I know.  I'm one of them.  I suck.

Listen to the voice of God.  Here it is.  If you are a non-Christian, you can and should believe Christianity.  If you just read that sentence and actually took it to heart and considered it seriously, then God just spoke to you, right now.  I'm not kidding.  If you are a Christian who doesn't depend fully and completely on God all the time, you can and should change that.  Again, if you just read that sentence and took it to heart and considered it seriously, then God just spoke to you, right now.

You shouldn't imagine that it's some great or special thing for me to write something here and then suggest that God might use my meager, poor words in this silly strange blog to speak to you or to someone else.  God wants to use you to speak to people too.  He uses all Christians to speak to others.  He uses non-Christians to do many good things*, in fact, every good thing a non-Christian does is an example of God using that person to do a good thing.  God may use you today to do many good things.  I hope he does.  But more than that, I hope you listen to his voice and heed it, as I try to do.

It is not easy at all for either a non-Christian OR a Christian to tell whether or not God is speaking to them.  This is not because God doesn't speak to both Christians and non-Christians frequently; he does.  Seriously, he does.  But we are each damaged in such a way that we often don't hear, or we mistake our own voice for his, or we mistake his voice for our own.  We are each damaged, very badly damaged.  We are deaf and blind.  Christianity fixes that, but there is a specific mechanism and process involved.  As long as we live on this earth in these bodies, we will continue to be damaged and will continue to often ignore God's voice or mistake it.  Becoming a Christian involves heeding God's voice and slowly learning to listen to it constantly and let it lead us.

Thanks for reading!  I feel so funny about either writing or posting stuff like this here.  I hope it doesn't offend anyone or hurt anyone.  Many things I say are not true.  Most things I say are poorly expressed.  But sometimes I say a true thing, now and then, and whenever that happens ... God has used me.  True and good things come from him, not me; never me.  Never ever me.  I'm not special; I'm not even good.  I believe Jesus though, as anyone can, and that much is definitely good.  Then again, my faith falters, sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes from one hour to the next, because I am so so so so not-good.  I'm learning and trying to do better though.  You can do the same; I hope you will.
 


* Here is an interesting thing that I think is true.  God has almost certainly used a non-Christian sometimes to speak to other non-Christians and urge them to become Christians.  It doesn't make sense.  It sounds ridiculous.  But I'm pretty sure I can give you examples of this, famous examples.  "God works in mysterious ways."
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 09:15:16 AM by rick957 »

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #272 on: November 23, 2012, 05:02:23 PM »
"Since you posted extensively on this, I'll touch on this. My take on God and Christianity is this... I entirely believe that there is a possibility God and Christianity exist. I also believe, wholeheartedly, that if they do, I'd rather go to Hell. I mean that, entirely, even if it's the most awful and worst torture possible, I'd rather suffer it than bow and scrape for an entity that is so low as to insist I suffer if I don't worship him. Put it any way you like, that's what is being said, and if you would place all the good things as acts of God, I would only accept that if all the bad things are also acts of God."

"Also, religion is, by definition, a belief system for that which we cannot quite understand: the afterlife, the creation of the universe, and whatever else. Moral codes often go hand-in-hand, but quite honestly, even if the only thing Christianity tells one to do is to believe in, trust in, and worship God, that's still a code of what is right and wrong. Even if it boils down to, worshiping God is right, and not doing so is wrong. This is an area I find exceedingly irritating, that has nothing to do with religion. People love to insist that 'this thing' is not under the definition of 'this word', insisting that whether something falls under 'this' or 'that' word even means that much. This comes up often with the word 'art', and even the word 'religion'."

"Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I am honestly not one bit thrown by your acceptance of God or even Jesus. Hell, by technicality, that makes you a Christian no matter what else you believe. It just slams me that you believe so many reasonable, intelligent things, yet your discussion of Christianity is so full of what is essentially (as you described it in music before) full of propaganda. I suppose, in the end, I don't honestly care. I doubt I'd change your mind, and I don't know that it would be something I'd want to accomplish. I just figured I'd say something, since you have been talking about it so much lately."

"If you respond to this, do me a favor and don't try to evangelize or pity me. I presume you're better than that, but I seriously mean what I said before. I consider the Christian God a possibility, but if he does exist, he knows that I think he can kiss every last part of my ass. I consider him completely unworthy of my worship. I'm fine with you being a Christian, I accept that and still respect you, and I'd rather it stay that way."

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Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #273 on: November 23, 2012, 05:53:42 PM »
I mean that, entirely, even if it's the most awful and worst torture possible, I'd rather suffer it than bow and scrape for an entity that is so low as to insist I suffer if I don't worship him.

If there's something you'd rather suffer then its, pretty much by definition, not the worst torture possible.  You'll be screwed when you show up in Hell and find yourself bowing and scraping whilst being tortured.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

 :P

Offline Ryuka Tana

Re: rude & ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by
« Reply #274 on: November 23, 2012, 06:06:13 PM »
"Then at least I suffer it on principle. That, to me, is spitting further in the face of my oppressor."